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*Shane O’Donnell gets away from Ronan Maher after making an excellent catch. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Eoin Brennan rates the performances of Clare’s senior hurlers following their comprehensive 3-21 2-16 win over Tipperary on Sunday afternoon.

CLARE

Eibhear Quilligan
1: Eibhear Quilligan
Won’t want to view that second goal anytime soon but that freak set-back aside, the Feakle stopper excellently prevented both Mark Kehoe and Jason Forde from inflicting any further damage into Clare’s commanding cushion while his distribution, albeit with incrementally limited movement from his outfield targets, was a healthy mix of short and long, unlike his counterpart at the other end.
Rating: 7

Paul Flanagan
2: Paul Flanagan
It’s hard to believe that it’s only Flanagan’s sixth senior championship start in a Clare jersey such was his assurance and composure in what is a pressure-cooker last line. Nothing spectacular but went about his business efficiently to ensure that the Banner’s miserly rearguard kept Tipperary at arm’s length. The ultimately litmus test for a corner-back is his immediate marker so the fact that none of his scored made it a hugely successfully first outing.
Rating: 7

Conor Cleary.
3: Conor Cleary
It initially appeared as if it was going to be a long afternoon for the Miltown Malbay native after being issued with a yellow card by referee James Owens for an off-the-ball infringement in the 23rd minute. However, his experience dictated that he didn’t let it affect his performance as despite being tasked with trying to curb Mark Kehoe, who had scored two goals against Waterford, Cleary kept Tipperary’s top scorer to a solitary point.
Rating: 7

Rory Hayes
4: Rory Hayes
It’s easy to see why the Wolfe Tones clubman has been nominated for back-to-back All-Stars as his man-marking ability allied to his pace, touch and reading of the game makes him a stand-out performer every day he goes out. Not only kept several markers quiet but actually managed to get on the scoresheet himself from his own ’65 amidst Clare’s most potent period entering the second quarter when hitting 2-3 without reply to soar 12 clear.
Rating: 8

Diarmuid Ryan
5: Diarmuid Ryan
The Cratloe defender’s first competitive outing since the Offaly National League match two months ago and it was no coincidence that Ryan simply picked up where he left off on Sunday. Is a wing-forward’s worst nightmare as his aerial proficiency and athleticism is matched by an insatiable thirst to bomb forward. Picked off a big point just after Tipp’s second goal and might have been in for a goal too had his elusive overlapping first half runs been spotted.
Rating: 7

John Conlon

 6: John Conlon
The 2018 All-Star forward began his championship odyssey against Tipperary 13 years ago and demonstrated that he’s still going strong. Indeed, Conlon showed his true leadership when stepping up to inspirational effect when needed most amidst Tipperary’s second half fightback. He also might have scored Clare’s second goal himself when breaking through Tipp’s cover but his shot was saved for Peter Duggan to finish.
Rating: 9

David McInerney
7: David McInerney
Marked his entrance to the 40 championship appearance club in style with one of the scores of the day to clinch victory coming down the final straight when intercepting a Tipperary run to fire over from the right wing just in front of the home dug-outs. Did find substitute Ger Browne a handful at times but certainly justified his starting berth for what was only his fourth appearance of the season.
Rating: 7

Cathal Malone
9: Cathal Malone
Clare’s only ever-present from the National League alongside Eibhear Quilligan and Paul Flanagan, the Ennistymon native may not be at his swashbuckling best just yet after two successive All-Star nominations. However, while the bar he has set is extremely high, Malone’s work-rate and selfless endeavour in the middle third makes him an invaluable cog in the Clare engine room. Just needs to get his shooting mojo back.
Rating: 7

Diarmuid Ryan
10: Ryan Taylor
As ever, the versatile Taylor was extremely busy throughout, scoring two points himself and just as significantly, directly setting up another 1-2 for others. His link play was exceptional, especially for the opening goal when picking out club-mate Duggan following an overlapping run. Did miss the target with two late first half efforts but didn’t prevent him from persisting with a third two minutes later which found its range off the upright.
Rating: 8

David Fitzgerald
12: David Fitzgerald
Having raided for a total of six points against Limerick and Galway at the backend of the recent National League, Fitzgerald wasn’t as prolific on Sunday but didn’t need to be as his aerial prowess from puck-outs alongside Peter Duggan ensured a constant early supply of breaking ball for the forwards. The Kilnamona native did score his eighth ever championship point though, on a day when Clare impressively had ten different scorers from play.
Rating: 7

Tony Kelly
11: Tony Kelly
Clare’s new captain was unsurprisingly at the heart of another famous victory over Tipperary in Semple Stadium, scoring 1-7 including an emphatic 28th minute penalty to put clear daylight between the sides. While Clare over-relied on the back-to-back All-Star these past few seasons, the return of Shane O’Donnell and Peter Duggan in particular will give opposition defender much more fires to put out which could open the door for the Ballyea star to prosper even more.
Rating: 8

Shane O’Donnell
26. Shane O’Donnell
A welcome return for the ever-impressive sliotar magnet for his first championship outing since December 2020. It was as if he’d never been away too as the Éire Óg attacker never wasted a possession and excelled on the left wing, scoring a late point in each half, initiating the move for the first goal and most spectacularly rose into the clouds to catch a second half puck-out that he selflessly offloaded to Robin Mounsey to arrow over.
Rating: 9

Ian Galvin
15: Ian Galvin
Dogged by injury, Galvin the younger hadn’t even started a competitive game in 2022 prior to Sunday. However, having run Tipperary ragged to fire 1-3 from play in last year’s Munster Semi-Final, once fit again he was an automatic starter and rewarded that loyalty with 1-1 inside the first eight minutes of the throw-in before adding another point late in the half. Was withdrawn in the second period having been starved of supply in an outnumbered backline.
Rating: 7

Peter Duggan
13: Peter Duggan
‘The Wizard of Oz’ was thankfully back working his magic for the Banner after a three year absence and provided Tipperary with the most amount of headaches in a hugely impactful display. Scored 1-2 but could have easily scored a hat-trick of goals as actually created an additional 2-1. HIs first effort was saved onto the crossbar for Ian Galvin to finish, he volleyed the second goal to the net while fouled for the penalty.
Rating: 9

Robin Mounsey
19: Robin Mounsey
With a hamstring injury for Shane Meehan ruling the Banner star out, fellow debutant Mounsey grasped his opportunity with both hands in a performance that belied his inexperience. Earning the first free for Tony Kelly to convert after only 40 seconds, it settled the Ruan man into his stride and he would go on to score a brace of points which equalled his entire scoring contribution during the five match National League.
Rating: 7

Subs:

20: Patrick Crotty
Crotty’s first senior championship appearance proved frustrating as was isolated with scant supply in the full-forward line during Tipperary’s backlash.
Rating: 6

18: Domhnall McMahon
Only his second championship appearance but couldn’t grab a late score despite two attempts.
Rating: 6

8: Shane Golden
Introduced too late to be rated

22: Jason McCarthy
Introduced too late to be rated

23: Jack Browne
Introduced too late to be rated

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